Follow the Dream is a programme that is currently being delivered to approximately 800 high-achieving Indigenous students in nine metropolitan and 15 regional centres across Western Australia. The Albany Follow the Dream programme has been hosted by Albany Senior High School since 2005 and consists of thirty students from both Albany and North Albany Senior High Schools.
Follow the Dream is the most significant secondary school retention programme for
Indigenous students ever to be implemented in Western Australia. From 2004 to 2008 there have been nearly 300 graduates throughout the state who have gone on to further study or meaningful employment. The programme targets successful Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students and provides them with a supportive learning environment to enable them to complete school and to eventually go on to their chosen careers. Highly qualified tutors assist students after school in the ASHS library from Monday to Thursday until 5:30. In this time they complete their homework, study, set goals and research potential career opportunities. Students are also involved in a number of camps and excursions that aim to build their cultural and career knowledge.
The Albany Follow the Dream programme has been extremely successful with past students having won prestigious awards such as the 2009 Rob Riley Memorial prize (for the highest ATAR from a public school Indigenous student in Western Australia) and the 2010 Most Outstanding Indigenous Year 12 Male in Western Australia. In recent years graduates have been accepted by various universities to study anthropology, engineering, architecture, physiotherapy, animal science and sport science. Other students have accepted traineeships in such areas as forestry and banking.
The programme helps Indigenous students to set their sights on challenging options and to take the necessary steps to achieve their goals. It is anticipated that graduates from the program will ultimately assist in building capacity in Indigenous communities across the state.